New Concepts…New Help

Well, the journey with my  husband’s health  has taken on a new twist…an exciting twist, that is.

Because we are so far away from family to help, we have had to sign up for COPES…which is long term health care services for people who need it.  Along with COPES, we have had therapists and other medical staff in and out.  Some have been great help while others have been mediocre. We had to release one already for overstepping some boundaries and in the midst of the overstep, she neglected my husband.

Yet, even with the ups and downs, we have learned the following:

1)  I’ve had to release pride and allow them to help since I can use the time to work on school, job hunt, and other household stuff that they are not allowed to handle.

2) That outside help people are humans and I do not need to judge them because of the work they do.  One guy – who has been with us since the beginning -has been great.  He treats my husband with respect and is kind to him as he takes care of the most mundane things for my husband.  Even my cat – the man hater – is warming up to him!  Of course, he has his own cats so he knows how to treat them.

3) That is great to have someone help clean the house and other household chores.  It’s great not to worry about my back as I dumped heavy garbage into the dumpster.  He can even help clean and organize the boxes/furniture in my husband’s room.  What great help!

4) That sometimes you need to speak up because people like the therapists think they know more than you do about your loved one.  Yeah, I know they know more about therapy than I do but I also know how my husband handles things and what his habits and routines are.

5) That my husband is amazingly smart!  He has been training on an electric wheelchair to see if he qualifies – well he passed that test and now once we get through the paperwork, hopefully he will have one by spring.  They want to create a video so he can help other blind people use one – they were amazed that a blind man can use one!

6) That God uses people like medical staff, caregivers, and therapists to be humble and to show you what true compassion is.  That no matter how dirty something is that being a servant is worth being and that you need to be a servant back to these people because they are taking care of your loved one.  Plus hubby is being a witness to the original one and we are praying that his heart softens and we can win him to God’s kingdom.

So, yeah, in conclusion, it’s been great having the help and I wish we could treat them like good friends and family yet we must keep boundaries as we treat them with respect, compassion, and humbleness.   Now, I can leave for short periods of time or even during the day when God blesses me with a job and not worry about hubby…so yes, God is good and so is people to help out around the house though I do have to be careful that I do not become to complacent so I’m fortunate to still be able to do something on the weekends or days when we do not have help.

What have you learned if  you ever had a caregiver or other medical staff in your home?

The journey continues…

My postings may become more sporadic until at least the holidays since we were faced with another medical crisis this last weekend.

For most of last week, my husband has not been feeling all the well and then by Friday, the tip of his finger was quite black and he was getting very sick.  Yet, he made me go to a doctor’s appointment before taking him to the emergency room.  Fortunately, for me, all tests came back positive for nothing wrong except diabetes so i’ll have to be monitored for that!  Yikes!  I do not want to start poking my fingers – I dread needles.

At the hospital, they discovered he had an infection and even gangrene from a dead finger so the treatment was an amputation, which happened on Saturday.  He is doing better today and will be going into rehab for some time so Thanksgiving will be a lonely affair this year…yet, I will spend some time there in rehab with him.

This latest journey has taught me a few things and I have the following tips for patients, spouses, loved ones, and so on:

1) treat medical staff with respect – they are overworked and they do the dirtiest of jobs for a patient.

2) though the staff may be a bit overworked, speak up as an advocate for your loved one and if able to, do the little things to assist the staff like help with feeding the patient

3) If coming out of town to visit patient and you plan to stay at their home, give the spouse who spends quite a bit of time at the hospital, down time when they get home.  They may not want to chat but rest and unwind while taking care of things like homework and other household responsibilities.

4) If you are visiting, please respect the loved one’s wishes to not clean their house.  Things were hectic and the house was on the verge of being cleaned up.  Some people may take this as the house was not clean enough or you should have done a better job at it.  If they say no on something, do not push the matter.  Above all – do not go through personal things like medical records, etc.

5) If you know of someone who is going through a rough time, like a loved one in the hospital, make sure they are being cheered up and taken care of.

6) If you know of a spouse and/or family members who do not have a loved one at home during a holiday, they will need to be cheered up too.  It’s a stressful time.

7) Get people to pray alongside you

8) Pack your meals and plan parking expenses – visiting at a hospital can add up.  Maybe offer to bring a meal to the visiting person.

9) Remember to smile even as things get tough like cleaning up vomit and other messes

10) remember the pets -they need attention and they do miss their human mom or dad

11) Above all, pray and read God’s words

Finally, in conclusion, I salute caretakers, nursing staff, and doctors who work such long hours and deal with the messes to give love, mercy, compassion, and kindness to a spouse, child, other family members, and/or patients.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have anymore tips to help handle stress during a long illness, accident or other similar journeys?